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Thanksgiving Who? Center City Plans Winter Magic Early

Dilworth Park begins its holiday joy this week, and Christmas Village is on the way!

Now that Halloween is over, holiday season is fair game. Soon, we’ll be rolling out our Holiday Guide, from lights to skating to more, but Center City just couldn’t wait. So if you’re looking to get festive early, we’ve got good news for you!


Beginning November 1 (that’s right, way before Thanksgiving), Dilworth Park began its transformation into a winter wonderland, opening its annual Wintergarden. This open-air labyrinth of lights, topiaries, and rustic décor is perfect for photo ops and fun. And beginning on November 5, a Chaddsford Winery kiosk in the garden will offer warm mulled wine for purchase to guests 21 and older.



Also on November 5, the rest of Dilworth gets activated with the opening of Rothman Ice Rink and Cabin. The ribbon cutting at noon will include skating fairies, an enchanted stilt walker, and magical snow flurries. “Woodland Winter at the Rink” opening weekend will continue on Saturday, November 6 with an ice carving demonstration, crafts for kids, a woodland scavenger hunt, and a bubble magic show.


Rothman Rink will utilize an online reservations system of safe, contactless purchasing opportunities with scheduled timed, 90-minute skating sessions. Guests will be able to make an online reservation for their desired skate session and can print their tickets at home or use a QR code on their mobile device when they arrive at the rink. In-person sales, based on availability, will also be offered onsite.


The Cabin features cozy decor and warm heat lamps—and as always a seasonal menu including a kids’ menu for little ones and cocktails for their grownups. Beginning on November 22, you can catch the Deck the Hall holiday light show projected onto City Hall next to the rink.




Next, comes holiday shopping. On November 20, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market arrives in Dilworth, along with Christmas Village’s preview weekend.


At the Made in Philadelphia Market, support local small businesses by browsing and buying handmade trinkets, treats, and crafts galore. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village—but only focuses on Philly-made gifts. Meanwhile, Christmas Village, the authentic open-air German-style Christmas Market at LOVE Park and City Hall features dozens of vendors offering seasonal decorations and unique gifts for the holidays from around the world.


Come hungry, because in addition to the unique and plentiful shopping, Christmas Village will also have traditional European food (including raclette cheese, schnitzel, and bratwurst), warm drinks (hot cocoa and mulled wine), treats, a beer garden. Returning this year, Christmas Village will also have themed weekends, children’s activities, and rides! Look for a kids’ train, a giant glowing Ferris Wheel, and a brand new double-decker carousel!


“We are thrilled to welcome back Christmas Village in Philadelphia at LOVE Park,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Christmas Village has grown into a must-do family tradition that brings together multiple generations.”



Made in Philadelphia runs from November 20—January 1, while Christmas Village runs from Thanksgiving—Christmas Eve (with a preview weekend on November 20 and 21). Rothman Rink and Wintergarden Maze will be open past the holidays, daily through February 27, 2022.


When visiting Center City District Parks, masks are strongly encouraged outdoors when not actively eating or drinking and are required indoors when ordering food. CCD, café, and rink staff will offer free masks to anyone who requests one. Since the Rothman Rink, Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and Christmas Village are open seven days a week, come on weekdays for fewer crowds.



Photographs by Laura Swartz. 

Contributing Writer